Naga, a well-known Pilgrim city especially during September is the first one on my list when I started my solo travels. One reason is that Naga is only 2-3 hours travel from Legazpi, where I am located. And though it’s in the Bicol Region, we have already lots of differences when it comes to culture. So, it’s a good start for an immersive travel.
So, I started the journey on the preparation side:
- I searched on where I should stay for 3 days on TripAdvisor, Agoda and Booking. I also filtered what I basically need. In my case I only need a bed and a space that I can work and a good Wi-Fi connection, plus it should not be more than 1000 php per day. I want the cheapest but have good value.
- The booking process at Booking (Download the mobile app, they have lots of discounts too). Be prepared for your payment method (Card or e-wallet) and check in as early as possible. There are lots of travelers nowadays so it’s better if you are early and prepared.
- Prepare what you will need. I’m a minimalist so I only bring my laptop, 3 pairs of clothes (T-shirts, undies and shorts/pants). I have toiletries ready too in a kit.
- Prepare your itinerary. I don’t prepare much my itinerary for my first trip since my goal for that trip is to learn what should I do and don’t when it comes to travel. I just want to enjoy being solo and a new environment and new people around me. But in case you will be traveling with a purpose, a travel itinerary is a great help.
- Prepare for an extra money.
- I left Legazpi at almost 1 PM. I’m traveling on a motorcycle since that’s the plan, to travel the whole PH by motorcycle ride. Its raining heavily that time so it’s not a good day to travel with breezy air but more on rain spattering on your raincoat and a slippery road.
- We stopped over at Polangui at BASTIAN Food Garden near the Mall and eat lunch there. I can’t take a good shot since it’s raining. They have homemade recipes there.
- We left Polangui at 3 PM and then proceed with the travel.
- My shoes were damaged too (Maybe its time to change my travel shoes and change it to a more comfortable one). Good thing I brought a slipper
- Arrived at Naga almost 6 PM.
The Citi Inn
- So I booked at Citi Inn (It’s the cheapest one with breakfast too) and at first I can’t find it since they don’t have a signboard of the Inn. I used Google Maps that is in the Booking platform so I’m sure that I’m not lost. Then there’s a black gate with CG print and it turned out, it’s the Inn.
If you will be booking here, try to call first their number so that they can assist you. The caretaker is very friendly too.
- The place seems private (just what I want in a place). They have a garage and for that amount it’s spacious and they have a table too, which is perfect for my working while traveling set up. It’s a very minimalist room, just what I really need- a wifi, a bed and a good space that I can still do my stretching and morning yoga.
- As to the amenities, they provide a soap and a towel. I’m looking for a tissue or an alcohol, but I think they don’t have one. It’s okay though since I have a backed up toiletries on my own. The shower is clean and there is a heater in case you want a hot bath. My problem though is the bed. It’s not that comfortable maybe because of the quality of the beddings, but overall 2 people can use that bed, it means that it’s a big one for 1 person like me so, space-wise it’s good.
- Their Wi-Fi is 100% good. I even browse for Netflix shows on their TV, though I don’t dwell on it since on my mind, I don’t go to Naga to watch Netflix or TV, so I’m just gonna enjoy the place and the food.
- Breakfast is hot and is a typical breakfast for a Filipino (they served me cornsilog and hotsilog with instant coffee). They serve it as exactly 7:30 AM. They are also giving 2 breakfasts since the free breakfast is good for 2 says the caretaker, but I told him that I can’t eat the 2 meals and only ask for 1.
- The best thing about this Inn is its location since its located at Naga Centro. You are just a walk away if you want to eat, go to church, go to the park, go to the market and enjoy the centro feels.
My suggestion to Citi Inn
- Your rooms are so spacious so you can provide a tool which we can hang our clothes and a hanger too. I think it’s the one that I’m missing.
- You can add this as a charge to us but you can add alcohol and tissue to your toiletries since we are still on a pandemic state. It’s a hygienic addition.
- Can you add to your list of breakfast something that is local in Naga, like kakanin or something that the tourists don’t usually get as their breakfasts? I’m sure it will add to your good review.
The overall rating for the price and the value I get is 8.5/10. I highly recommend this place if you are just looking for a good city location, wifi and a minimalist room. If I will be in Naga again, I’ll surely book again here.
During my stay on Naga, it rained heavily. No day is a sunny day during my 3 days journey so I don’t really have much pictures to give or places to visit except those that are near.
The Places I’ve Been
- Malls- Most of the malls in the centro are quite old. People are still buying something there but you know they are not the perfect place if you want to just chill and relax. I didn’t go to Robinson and SM though.
- The park- I enjoyed watching lolas and moms dancing zumba early in the morning. They look so active and happy. During the rainy afternoon, there are still lots of stalls that are in the park. You can find there nuts, tusok tusok and there are even coffee stalls, takoyaki stalls and juice stalls. There’s also like a massage center located in the park.
- The food- Since it’s raining I didn’t have time to really explore the food that is local to Naga. As usual I go to my comfortable place- the fastfoods, Jobi for bfast, Mcdo for coffee (lol) and then tried some silog meals on some food places there. I also tried food panda restaurant for one of my dinners. My favorite though is the Red Platter. Their karekare is sumptuous as well as their Leche Flan. A must-try!
The Way the Centro was Built
Centro Naga is just similar with other Spanish structured centro, wherein we can find the church, the market, the plaza, the government establishment (in their case the police station). The center is the church and all the city activities revolve in it. Though this generation is not as religious as before, I think that Naga still have this parishioners and one of the reasons why its called a pilgrim city. Evident is there event on September, which is the Penafrancia festival (starting 2nd Friday of Sept).
There are a lot of food establishments on Naga, maybe it’s good if the government can provide a recommendation for tourists on where to find local cuisines and other meal categorization- just like a directory of restaurants. Up until now, I don’t know what should I look forward as unique dish in Naga compared to other provinces and cities.
The Cathedral is the North
You should not be lost in Naga since the essence of the cathedral is like a north pole wherein you can make it like a starting point or center point of your journey.
Sadly, I didn’t have time to navigate the whole city. But it’s okay, my first travel is worth the experience and learnings that I will be using on my next travels. Experiencing the Road Outside my comfort zone is indeed unpredictable, I just need to enjoy the uniqueness of each experience.